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BUSH Hill, between Bransford and Powick, is the merest bump in the landscape yet the views from the top are panoramic, extending from the Clee Hills to the Cotswolds.
It’s just one of many pleasant surprises on this enjoyable walk.
You’ll also discover a mediaeval chapel, lots of veteran trees, two wildflower meadows (only the skeletal remains of knapweed survive now, so make a mental note to return in the summer), some newly planted woods and numerous pools. Don’t forget your binoculars if you’re into birdwatching.
Also worth investigating is the Fold at Bransford, with artists’ studios, a care farm and a café.
Check out the website (thefold.org.uk) to learn more about this admirable community venture and the range of events, courses, workshops and activities it offers.
Start: Bransford Bridge, on A4103 south-west of Worcester, grid ref SO804532.
Length: 6½ miles/10.5km.
Maps: OS Explorer 204, OS Landranger 150.
Terrain: Pasture, woodland, arable and golf course; a couple of slopes but no real hills.
Footpaths: Mostly excellent, apart from a few gaps in waymarking and two sub-standard stiles. There are some discrepancies between the waymarked paths and those shown on OS maps, but this should not cause any problems.
Parking: Lay-by on the Worcester side of Bransford Bridge.
Buses: Astons 417 to Ledbury serves Bransford, Mon-Sat; worcestershire.
gov.uk/bustimetables, 01905 765765.
Refreshments: Fox Inn next to Bransford Bridge; Bransford Garage (shop and hot food and drinks to take away); Ecocafé (closed Mondays) at the Fold. There is also often a snack van parked in the lay-by near bridge.
1 Walk across Bransford Bridge then cross the road to take a riverside footpath. Follow the Teme for over half-a-mile to a junction just before a stile. Turn left, walking past a pool to a small building where you turn right to join a track which leads to the A4103, meeting it opposite Bank House Hotel. Turn left then cross the road to a footpath opposite Bransford Garage. Follow it past the hotel to a path junction just before Bransford Golf Club. Turn right, walking through the car park then to the left of two barn conversions to meet the A4103.
2 Cross the road and turn left to find another footpath. Follow it across two fields and through a young wood to Suckley Road. Turn left, then take a path on the right at Leigh Hurst and follow it past Old Rectory Wood. The tree-lined path soon leads to a field and is easily followed to a gate at the far side, which gives access to a meadow.
Turn left through the meadow, cross a stile in the far corner and continue through another meadow then along the edge of a garden to rejoin Suckley Road.
3 Turn right, then cross the road to another footpath. Follow it across a field to a junction beyond a stile. Turn right, soon crossing another stile to Bransford Golf Course and another junction. Turn right, walking along the edge of the golf course until a waymark directs you left through trees. Leaving the trees, go straight on, looking for a lifebelt which indicates where the path passes between two pools, then continue to a stile into woodland.
Go straight across the wood towards the other side but turn left before you reach the edge, at a waymarked junction, and walk through the long, narrow wood until a stile gives access to the golf course. Walk along the edge to the A4103.
4 Cross to Chapel Lane opposite.
Keep straight on at a junction then follow the lane to the right at the entrance to Bransford Manor.
Walk past Bransford Chapel to the end of the lane, go through a gate and keep straight on, down Chapel Hill. Cross a stile to a path junction by a brook and turn left. Head towards a corrugated-iron building in the distance. Cross a pair of stiles and a footbridge close to the building and turn left. Keep straight on at a junction, ignoring a stile on your left and continuing along the field edge to cross another stile ahead. Go straight on along the edge of the next field then cross the next stile on the left and go diagonally to a gate.
5 Cross a railway bridge to a junction with multiple waymarks. Go diagonally towards the far left corner of a large field, where you should be able to see a fallen tree, near a brook. As you draw close, look for a small white post, beyond which (to the left) you’ll see a waymark near a water trough.
Go through a gate and along the right-hand edge of the next field for a short distance before crossing a stile on the right. Follow the brook for 100m then go diagonally left to a gate giving access to woodland. Turn right through the wood.
6 Leaving the wood, turn left uphill. Don’t follow the woodland edge but bear right to meet the top hedge at a stile. Don’t cross the stile but turn right to pass a farmhouse and join a track. Follow it across Bush Hill. Keep straight on when the track turns left to a road, crossing a stile to continue in the same direction along a field edge.
Ignore another path branching right. Continue across the field when the hedge turns a corner, passing a solitary oak then heading towards a row of five oaks which lead to the road. Turn left, then take a path to the left of a house. This is easily followed to a junction where you turn left on a track which follows the river Teme before swinging left, away from the river.
After passing Bransford Court, turn right and return to Bransford Bridge.